Lucifer S02E17 “Sympathy For The Goddess” REVIEW
Available in the UK via Amazon TV, new episodes every Tuesday
Writer: Joe Henderson
Director: Louis Milito
Essential Plot Points:
- Charlotte negotiates with a smuggler called Zeke for an artefact that could be the key to igniting the flaming sword, but he’s murdered before he can give it to her.
- The prime suspect is a terrible rapper, Chad Ruiz, the son of one Charlotte’s wealthy clients, Bianca Ruiz, whose business is a front for all sorts of illegal activities.
- Charlotte has an invite to a party being thrown by Bianca so she and Chloe go along as guests, hoping to uncover some clues.
- Meanwhile, Dr Linda is suspended for having helped Lucifer escape from the mental hospital in the previous episode.
- Maze, still pissed that Lucifer is planning to return to Heaven, tries to get Lucifer to help get Dr Linda reinstated by acting as a character witness for her, but he only makes matters worse by mentioning that he used to sleep with her.
- Maze and Lucifer have a big, bloody fight but it doesn’t clear the air. Even when Lucifer tells Maze he isn’t abandoning her because he has secret plans for when he reaches Heaven that involve him staying there only a short while, she’s still pissed that he doesn’t trust her enough to let her in on her plans. She accuses him of being as manipulative as his parents (ouch).
- At the party, Chloe overhears a conversation between Bianca and Chad which pretty much incriminates him – seems there’s little love lost between Bianca and her idiot son with his vanity music projects. He killed Zeke thinking he was doing his mum a favour, not realising that his mum was profiting from Zeke’s sideline in smuggling.
- Chad also dropped his phone at the scene of the murder, a phone which, if the police can unlock it, which reveal details of Bianca’s deal with Zeke.
- Bianca later visits Charlotte and says that if Charlotte doesn’t get the phone back from the police then the artefact Zeke found for her will “vanish”… permanently.
- Instead, Charlotte and Chloe entrap Bianca into admitting her guilt, but only after she’s given Charlotte the key to the safety deposit box containing the artefact.
- It turns out to be an ancient book, written in Sumerian, which Amenadiel sets about translating.
- Chad visits Charlotte at her office late at night, pretending that he has another artefact for her, but stabs her instead. The celestial force that’s been seeping from her recently pours out of the wound and kills him.
- Amenadiel finds a passage in the book saying that God gave another artefact that can ignite the flaming sword to his “favourite son”. He immediately assumes this means Lucifer but it turns out that it’s his own pendant that’s the object in question.
If there’s a major problem with “Sympathy For The Goddess” it’s that it doesn’t feel like it’s setting up a season finale. In and of itself, it’s a decent enough episode. Sure, the crime of the week is even more perfunctory than usual (if that’s possible) but it’s fun to watch Mrs God getting some investigative action, and irritating Chloe along the way. The Maze/Lucifer/Dr Linda plotline has its great moments of righteous indignation as well, and there’s even an unexpected heart-to-heart between Amenadiel and Dan.
But there’s little here that cries, “Everything’s coming to head next week!”
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not expecting some Game Of Thrones-style battle for Heaven with hordes of demons versus angels fighting each other bloodily. Lucifer isn’t that kind of show. But you would reasonably expect that the personal stakes might have been heightened a bit more.
After all, what have we got? No great rifts, that’s for sure. Maze is in a sulk with Lucifer, but – despite Amenadiel’s warning in the opening scene – she doesn’t appear to be a major threat to his plans. Charlotte’s leaking some kind of celestial force, which is problematic for her, sure, but she’s in no great conflict with her sons at the moment. Lucifer’s probably slightly miffed that he’s not daddy’s favourite son, but the ending of the episode doesn’t imply that it will cause any major ructions between the brothers. Dan seems cool with being a singleton. There’s been no great change of status quo in Chloe and Lucifer’s relationship…
In other words, it’s difficult to figure out what the hell the finale is going to be about. There are a few intriguing puzzles that need answering but no big bad to defeat and no major problem to overcome.
We’re sure the show will pull a rabbit from the hat a deliver a killer finale but at the moment, it’s surprisingly difficult to get excited about it. Odd!
But that’s enough complaining about what the episode isn’t rather than what it is. It was fun, and – as you’ll see below – there was a lot more to enjoy than to moan about.
- “So our lead on the killer is a pair of butt, boob eyes. That’s a great start.” Chloe’s line of the season!
- The Maze/Lucifer fight – although we don’t see 95% of it, seeing Maze kneeing Lucifer in the groin and the aftermath is all we need to know.
- Chloe’s bad girl look.
- Chloe’s little “Chad dance”.
- Dan and Amenadiel bonding over improv (so unlikely it might just work! Let’s see this taken to the next step in season three!)
- The scene in which Lucifer tries to defend Dr Linda to the ethics guy but only makes matters worse probably made you cringe, but it’s a classic piece of Lucifer foot-in-mouth action.
- Charlotte trying to fend off Ella is hilarious.
- “I heard things… on the… on the… on the phone call.”
“You heard fingers pointing?”
“Very angrily. Yes, and also… gunshots. Sounded like he was dying. Or, um, melting… maybe. It’s hard to tell.” – Comedy gold!
- Chad’s death is deservedly icky.
- Chad’s music is awful, but then, it’s supposed to be.
- Amenadiel is laying on the “Oh, we all know loves you better” shtick so thick in the final scene that the twist is pretty much telegraphed.
- Bianca is pretty dim for a criminal mastermind – the crime plot is even more flimsy than ever this week.
And The Random:
- On this week’s playlist:
• “Modern Man” by Ivan & Alyosha – in the background of the opening scene with Lucifer and Amenadiel watching their mum negotiating with Zeke.
• “Please Yourself” by Ron Gallo – the cityscape linking into the scene in Chloe’s office with Lucifer playing with his chair.
• “Shotgun” by Spoon – Charlotte chats to Dan at the police precinct.
• “Bad Girls” by MKTO – in the background at Bianca Ruiz’s launch party when Chloe arrives.
• “Pure Evil” by Baby Strange – Dan and Amenadiel talk about the benefits of improv in a bar.
• “Ooops! I Did It Again” – Lucifer plays a snatch of the Britney Spears “classic” on his piano
• “Cruel Intentions” by Valerie Broussard – as Chad stabs Charlotte.
• Oh, and whatever Chad’s ghastly track is called, possibly “Money Don’t Get Me”?
Review by Dave Golder